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In 2012, Africa will continue to encounter both challenges and opportunities to achieving sustainable growth and improving the livelihoods of its citizens. In order to benefit from development opportunities, the continent must prioritize regional integration efforts, manage a growing youth population, increase the profile of organizations such as the African Union, and sustain advancements in public health. Other critical priorities include engagement with China and other emerging economies, increasing the African voice in global governance, and improvements in natural resource management as well as security issues and aid effectiveness.
On January 11, the Africa Growth Initiative at Brookings hosted a discussion to identify top priorities for the continent in the coming year and describe how African and global leaders can address these issues in 2012. Senior Fellow Mwangi S. Kimenyi, director of the Africa Growth Initiative, provided introductory remarks. He was joined by panelists Bruce Wharton, deputy assistant secretary for public affairs at the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of African Affairs; Amina Ali, African Union ambassador to the United States; and Jennifer Cooke, director of the Africa program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Reed Kramer, chief executive officer of AllAfrica.com, moderated the discussion.
After the program, the participants took audience questions.